Thursday, 1 October 2009

Storing for Winter

by Chiot's Run

This of the year it's a whirlwind of activity here at Chiot's Run. We're busy harvesting, planting fall crops and canning, freezing, and drying food for winter. I can a few things like: tomatoes, jams, jellies, applesauce, tomato soup, pickled beets, and a variety of other pickled veggies.

For the past couple years we've been trying to eat more locally and more seasonally. By eating seasonally you limit the amount of time spent canning & preserving because you eat what is in season at the time. You're also saving energy by not canning as much. That being said, eating seasonally is a little more difficult here in Ohio where there's really nothing growing during many of the cold winter months. We do buy and store a good amount of squash & pumpkins to eat on all winter. We also store some cabbages, potatoes, and a few apples. Last year we experimented with growing spinach and kale under a floating row cover and we were able to harvest spinach in February. All of these efforts enabled us to save some valuable time and energy by not canning as much.

Learning to eat seasonally is definitely a shift in eating habits. It's amazing how diverse your diet becomes when you start focusing on this area. You learn about all kinds of new vegetables and you learn new storage techniques. I'm really enjoying the challenge of eating seasonally. I feel like I'm not only making a difference environmentally but in my health as well!

Do you can/freeze/dry for winter eating? Does your diet change seasonally?